Like all freshman’s I began high school with a 4.0 g.p.a.….and it all went downhill from there. It wasn’t that I wasn’t smart or capable, but to my teenaged mind, there were so many components to school that were way more interesting than what was being taught in the classroom in particular the two B’s (Boys and Basketball). By the mid-point of my freshman year, my GPA had dwindled all the way down to a 2.1 and no matter how hard I tried, I just wasn’t able to pull my grades back up to a 3.0 level by my senior year.
Then the day came during my senior year when I met with my school guidance counselor to discuss my future plans. I laid out my top five dream schools, and my advisor looked at me very seriously and said, “Felecia, your grades are horrible. You won’t ever be able to attend a university you should focus instead on finding a community college or getting a trade.” I was devastated! This woman was supposed to motivate me and she was doing exactly the opposite. I decided from that moment forward that I would prove her wrong and show her that I absolutely could go to a university and I could even win money to pay for my education.
I began picking up every application at the guidance office and applying for as many scholarships as I could. As I applied for more and more scholarships, I began to notice that a lot of them didn’t require a g.p.a and since essay writing was my strong point I was sort of given an opportunity to shine light on my other talents. It also helped that I even developed my own system for filling out scholarship paperwork. I was turned down for many scholarships in the beginning and I began to feel pretty discouraged. I told myself to keep going no matter how hopeless it began to feel.
Then came Senior Awards Night where my school announced scholarship winners. I began the evening on the edge of my chair but as more and more awards were passed out and my name wasn’t called, I began to feel hopeless once again. Later on in the night though, my luck began to change. At first I won a small scholarship from the League of Women Voters. After that, I suddenly found myself bouncing back and forth from the stage to my seat like a yo-yo. Most of the scholarships were relatively small but at the end of the night I won a scholarship for $100,000 Communities and Schools Scholarship. At the end of the night I had walked away with over $100,000 in college scholarships and went on to win more scholarships and grants in college totally over $130,000!
My advice to you is, no matter how poor your grades are, and no matter what anyone tells you, you absolutely can go to your dream university and you can win scholarships for college. You just need to work hard, get creative and never allow yourself to become discouraged.